Sacred Hill Helmsman Cabernet Merlot Franc 2015 $80 (5 stars)

My first taste of this wine was a few years before the millennium and back then I was told the name represented something that led the way that stood ahead of the pack and steered you in the right direction. This new vintage lives up to its reputation for focus and drive. A Helmsman is released only in years when the fruit is unrivaled and when winemaker Tony Bish is confident it’ll stand the test of time. Expect a nose of vanilla and smoke, fruitcake, tobacco and hints of leather carpenters apron. The tannins are elegant and elastic and help create a long, beautifully lithe finish.

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